Fox News easily won the cable news coverage of the Florida GOP primary, drawing more than the combined average of CNN and MSNBC. But the early finish of the primary, with the call at 8pmET going to Mitt Romney, may have sent viewers elsewhere. Of the three cable news networks, only CNN actually improved upon a regular night. In fact, Fox News and MSNBC had higher viewership Monday night, than they did Tuesday night, as first noted by Brian Stelter.
Fox News averaged 2.53 million viewers between 8-11pm Monday night, and 2.51 million last night. MSNBC averaged 1.12 million Monday and 984,000 last night.
This says a few things: the early call drove viewers elsewhere, national interest in state primaries may be waning and FNC and MSNBC’s loyal viewers would have preferred to watch a regularly scheduled “O’Reilly Factor” or “Rachel Maddow Show” than election returns.
CNN placed second to Fox News during primetime, drawing 1.09 million viewers, up from an average of 622,000 Monday night. By comparison, here’s how the broadcast networks fared: FOX — 7.5 million, CBS — 10.62, ABC — 5.54, NBC — 4.83.
Mitt Romney watches Florida election results on CNN about a half hour before he was declared winner of the GOP primary